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Inside Washington

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America 4, Obama Administration 3, Mali 3, Us 3, Colby 2, United States 2, Clinton 2, Richard M. Nixon 2, Richard Cordray 2, Mitch Mcconnell 2, Ronald Reagan 2, Mary Jo 2, Mary Jo White 2, Ron Johnson 2, Sec 2, New York 2, China 2, Africa 2, Britain 2, India 2,
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  WETA    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table  
   discussions feature journalists. (CC)  

    January 26, 2013
    6:00 - 6:30pm EST  

>> what do you think a tree can be? can it be stronger than steel? can it be biodegradable plastic? can it be fuel for our cars? or clothing? or medicine that fights cancer?
with our tree cell technology, we think it can. weyerhaeuser. growing ideas. >> i, barack hussein obama, do solemnly swear -- >> this week, the second inauguration of president barack obama. >> we reject the belief that america must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in a generation that will build its future. >> where does he go from here? >> the benghazi hearings. hillary clinton on the carpet. >> had been president at the time, i would have excuse you from your post. standing >> her ground. >> it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can from letting it happen again. >> america's daughters are just as capable of defending freedom
as its sons are. >> look who is coming to town of. >> you do not want to mess with mary jo. as one former chairman said, mary joe does not intimidate easily. >> the second obama administration began with a 19- minute 2114-word address that senate minority leader mitch mcconnell described as an unabashedly left-of-center speech that brought back memories of the democratic party of ages past. >> our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see america as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.
our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of detroit to the hills of appalachia, to the quiet lanes of newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm. >> immigration, gun control, and the comments on climate change, income inequality, and the need to preserve medicare, medicaid, and social security, and you have a pretty good picture of where he wanted to the country. how would you grade the president's speech? >> as a speech, a lot better than the first. i thought the crowd had a blast. and it was a speech that does represent his overall view of governing. >> colby, a to f? >> strong b, not on eloquence, but in terms of laying out his agenda and what he wants to accomplish.
historic in a way as well because he is the first president to use the word "gay" in an inaugural address, and it indicates where the country is now. he laid down a marker for this, talking about equality. he covered a whole lot of ground for a lot of people. >> establishing my grading system at the outset, i give a's to lincoln's second, roosevelt's first and second, and kennedy's only. i would give obama a b, maybe b +. he was far more surefooted than he has in the past. since november 6, he has shown a far clearer sense of what he wants to do, and i think this was a communitarian address, a lot more than the individuals and we have heard in recent past. >> charles? >> i will but the tide of great
inflation that has inflicted the panel. if you are a liberal, this was an a +, a declaration of a liberal future, declaration that the 30 years of conservative ascendancy that began with ronald reagan, which he stayed within a minute and half, the government is not the solution, government is the problem. this was an overturning of that. this is a way of saying we are in a new era, which he will initiate, he will continue it. from that perspective, i give him credit for honesty, open this, boldness about who he is and what he wants to do. i was just amazed that so many in the media heard were shocked to discover that we have not twice elected a man of the left. where have they been these four years? and i would add 699 speeches, a
telethon the speeches, that he has given. >> how many did ronald reagan give? with a teleprompter? >> six or seven. [laughter] >> i was lucky enough to be there for all of them. >> president spoke of civil rights, selma, and stonewall, manhattan bossuet's the village where the modern gay rights movement was born. a couple of things happened in congress this week that may have an impact -- will have an impact on the administration. harry reid and mitch mcconnell reaching an agreement on the filibuster. nothing profound. also, they will raise the debt ceiling to may 18. how will this impact president? >> what the house did it is illustrative of what will be ahead of us. they have not gotten over the defeat from november 6. we are going to tie everything
to the debt ceiling, this budget crisis. they have no leverage over the president. they discover they have no leverage. now they have to find a way to back down. this is their face-saving device to kick it down the road until may. you will see more of this. the president is in a much stronger position of dealing with the congress and house republicans. >> you agree with that? >> i always respect colby's opinion. but i dissent, the president, like any other, absent a national event where he becomes the dominant central dramatic figure, watches his popularity be rationed out day by day. he is strong now. it is hard to believe he will be as strong one year from now. i think what we are facing is not simply the debt ceiling. what we are facing is the sequestration, the automatic
cuts of a trillion dollars over 10 years, which many republicans are expressing a willingness now to let set in at the end of march. that would mean another fight and struggle. >> all this will unfold in six months probably. not a year from now. he is in a good position to fight for the next six months. >> there was an interesting and little-noticed thing this week. the economic numbers in britain came out where they have had a very tough, brave austerity program, and now they are possibly entering into a triple dip recession. it is an example, perhaps, of too much austerity. france may be an example of too much non-austerity. but if we go through sequester, people will actually see what those cuts mean. i suspect there will be a rebellion over it. >> you could hardly accuse the
united states of indulging in too much austerity. we have added $5 trillion of debt in four years. that would be a new definition of austerity. >> i am not saying that. what we have at this moment is a decision of how much to cut and where to cut. the democrats are really recalcitrant about entitlements. the republicans are almost foolish about their willingness to make enormous cuts. >> with reference to the president's inaugural address, charles with your comments, environmentalism is the successor to fail socialism as justification for all pervasive role by public experts, all men that it acts in the name of the proletariat but the planet. fascinating. >> since i'm not a plagiarist, let me say, that comes from the president of the czech republic, an economist, and he is stating a truism. when the labor party in britain came into office after the
second world war, it nationalize left and right in the name of the working class. today, if you want to control the energy in the united states, cap and trade, you want to shut down the coal industry, you want to suppress the new fracking technique which has produced a bonanza in gas and oil, then you do in the name of the planet, global warming. it allows a political class of experts, central government, to control economic lever is in a way that was done in the past in the name of the working class. >> i hear from people who know about this stuff that say we're headed towards energy independence. >> unless the epa stops us. >> charles, this is not as bad as all that. he wants to replace the national
anthem with the international. >> he does talk about climate change. >> he talks about the science of climate change it and i'm talking about the president. >> i am talking about the president, too. he is the inaugural address to signal, this is what we have to deal with. this will not be accomplished in the next four years. it is important to begin this subject. you can argue about how it is done, but it will be addressed. >> science seems to be, overwhelmingly, moving in the direction that the president is going. so far as i can tell. >> a little history, if we could. cap and trade was a republican idea. one. prior to that, the great conservation is moving in this country, which is but the climate is about, which is what the environment was about, was led by teddy roosevelt.
it was embraced by men like russell train, great republicans. it was a terrific republican sense of leadership. nelson rockefeller. >> how about richard nixon? >> richard nixon. the clean air act. the man who took the lead out of the air. richard m. nixon. the man who saved the waters of this country, richard m. nixon. the last great liberal president this country had. i just would like to see this rise above this petty, partisan bickering that i heard somewhere in this panel. >> this is all part of the speech, laid out, the thing that we at least have to do with. the things the government has to be involved in. the air, the water goes from state to state, city to city. one place cannot do it. it has to be -- the regulation
of how to deal with protecting all of that has to be the business of the federal government. >> can i get half a minute of rebuttal here? cap and trade work well for acid rain. acid rain stays in our country. i am not against regulated carbon. if you can get china and india to do something. if they don't, we are spitting in the wind. we are dismantling our economy to do absolutely nothing for the global climate. >> dealing with india and china is the job of the state department. hillary clinton in fighting form. >> we were led to believe that there were protests and the assault sprang out of that. >> with all due respect, we have four dead americans. was it because of a protest or guys out for what one might deciding to kill americans? at this point, what difference does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can remember prevented from happening again. >> the issue was the attack on
our consulate in benghazi, it took the lives of four americans, and with reference to what we heard, susan rice pops controversial appearance after the attack. rand paul told secretary clinton that he would have fired her. others said that they allow the content to become a death trap. what have we learned? >> demagoguery is alive and well on capitol hill. what do they expect? that she would go up on the hill and say, the state department, the obama administration engaged in mendacity, this was a real cover up, and we were trying to mislead the american people? of course not. she does not believe it is true, it was not true. they were disappointed that she did that go up there and this
the things that they wanted to charge. there is no substitute for what they're trying to suggest. >> people who take on hillary up there and this the things that they wanted to charge. there is no substitute for what they're trying to suggest. >> people who take on hillary clinton do so at their own risk as these hearings proved. >> what about the charge of the people who are criticizing the state department to the effect that the ambassador who was killed had asked for more help, more protection, more security? >> the consequence of the of that -- consequences of that, people have dismissed because of it. secretary clinton was right about one thing. hundreds of thousands of cables pour into the state department everyday. they are all addressed to the secretary of state but they also get siphoned off to other people. there are people in the department who are responsible for responding to those requests. they did not respond in an appropriate and timely fashion. there were consequences to that, not to make up for those four lives, but there are consequences. it was not as though they ignore the situation. >> would you focus on the part of the world first? >> first of all, congress has
not appropriated and the amount of money the state department asked for. second of all, there were mistakes, and that is what the commission -- what the commission was set up to investigate. we do not know what was in the classified part of the document. she kept urging members of congress to read that part of the document. lastly, this was the first-round of 2016, and it is obvious. >> colby talks about demagoguery. that clip you showed is the ultimate demagoguery. in the end she says, impassion, our job is to find out what happened. well, to find out what happened, you have to find out whether or not this was a spontaneous one- off demonstration gone awry, or was it the leading edge of a resurgence of al qaeda in north africa which would later impact mali and create dead americans and others in algeria?
that is the essence of finding out what happened. yet, and have second before, she says, what difference does it make if it was a spontaneous demonstration or something else? that is a complete contradiction. there is that anybody that pointed it out. the essence of what happened is, is this a resurgence of al qaeda? why is it that the id ministration went weeks and weeks in attending it had to do with a video, when there was no demonstration in the first place? >> if i am not mistaken, the president, the next day, did say it was an act of terror. >> did not, that is false. >> he did say it the very next day in the rose garden. we will check the teleprompter, ok? anybody who watched this, as i did, came to one conclusion hillary clinton was the grown- up. she was being beset by a group
of carping adolescence. i will say this about ron paul. in 30 years of congress, the gentleman from texas was never boarish. his son, and barely two years, established a new level of force ness, rand paul. and so did ron johnson, the senator from ron johnson. -- wisconsin. they were carping, patty. she was the grown-up. there is no question about that. >> 39 for women in combat roles. >> we were taking fire from everywhere. i remember hearing the bullets going by me and hitting the ground. i shot one guy and saw him fall. >> the first woman since world war ii to receive the silver star for valor and combat. secretary panetta lifted the ban on women in combat. that does not mean that there will be serving in the army and military infantry units right away? >> there was an interval.
this was recommended by the joint chiefs of staff. there have been 280,000 women who have served in the theaters in afghanistan and iraq and over the past decade, but there are fundamental questions about infantry, where one of the tests, historically, that has been given, is the fireman's carry. you can lift and carry on your shoulders a fallen comrade of 200 pounds back to safety. that is a test for male and female. i think that will be at least a hurdle. >> could you have carried someone that was 200 pounds? you could have. >> in his heyday. >> this is long and coming. women are now getting wounded, killed. they are not getting paid the same amount, not being able to serve in combat blocks them from progressing up the ranks, the way men do. do i think women will be in the
marines in the same number that men are at the front lines? now, it will be like fire departments. there are very few fire women, because it takes enormous physical strength. >> are there different physical standards at present, should that be changed? >> they will have to come up with a bona fide occupational qualification for the standards, regardless of gender. once the standards are set, you have to lead them. notwithstanding -- >> push-ups, pull ups, etc. >> i was in the general court. we had 15 casualties in the vietnam war. one file cabinet fell over and not done one of our officers. the other 14 died laughing. that was the extent of our combat readiness. >> is this about political correctness and social experimentation? >> i actually think not.
it is widening the gates of opportunity and equality. all of us agree on this, as long as the standards are not changed, it should be open to men and women. understanding that there will be a much smaller number of women who will meet the standard, simply because the physiology of women is different from men. in the olympics, you have men boxing, women's boxing. they are separate. you have the men's decathlon, and women. you have the men and women in all other categories. except in sporting life. we understand, -- we accept it in sporting life. we understand, because of strength and endurance and speed, they have to be separated. otherwise, if the women are with the men in the 100 yard dash, they would always lose. as long as the standard is maintained and you understand you have a smaller number of women, everyone would agree, this is the way it should be.
>> president obama said a decade of war is now ending. anyone want to bet? >> not if you live in syria, mali, on geary, afghanistan, and other places. he says america will no longer be as involved, but the question is, what will we do? the threats have not disappeared. al qaeda central has been dealt a serious blow. however, they are now active in north africa. the french are in the lead. are we going to help them, how much? >> the french are in the lead in mali. not in nigeria, for example. why? this is a francophone country. they are concerned only about the francophone countries. because of economic interests they have in this francophone countries. i just want to knock down the
idea that france is somehow stepping into a vacuum in africa. they are doing no such thing. >> i have never accused the french of altruism. so i can see your point entirely. i do i give a damn why they're there. they are stopping the islamists in mali, and nobody else is. >> the president picks a couple of for prosecutors to be his top regulators. a message for wall street? >> in the early 1990's, she brought down john gotti, and she brought to justice the terrorists responsible for bombing the world trade center and the american embassies in africa. i would say that is a pretty good run. you do not want to mess with mary jo. >> mary jo white is the president's new twist to be the head of the sec. the president also renominated prosecutor richard cordray as the head of the consumer protection financial bureau. what is the message for wall street? >> it is a message that is
consistent with what the president has said. this is who i am, these are the people who will best carry out the policies, in my judgment, that i think are necessary to clean up this country and make sure that we do not go through it again, challenging the senate to act and confirm richard cordray and mary jo white to do its constitutional duty. >> good choices, bad choices, colby, based under banking spirits? >> based on experience of my friend who is a former federal prosecutor in new york and knows very jo white, an excellent choice. she will faithfully enforced the law, you can bet on that. >> this is a woman who basically does not sleep, as far as i can tell. maybe three hours a night. she ran this humongous prosecutor's office, a well- respected by both republicans and democrats. the u.s. attorney southern
district of new york. but we do not know about her is what kind of a regulator she is. we know she is a very tough and very sensible prosecutor. what we do not know is what kind of a regulator she is, and they have to implement dodd-frank . >> "the wall street journal is not so happy with either candidate. >> i agree. can we now move onto something that we can argue about? i did not know about him but i know about her. i want somebody who is tough on wall street. i do not think it is a conservative position to be against enforcing laws on wall street. i think you ought to be as tough on wall street as you are on main street. if we pass the assault weapons ban, i would make an exception and allow her to carry one. [laughter] >> that is still a big if at
this point? >> it is. we pass financial reform in the house and senate, but it has to be implemented by the sec. it still is not fully implemented by any means. that is a difficult and tricky thing to do. >> a whatever is written about the obama administration, its prosecution of the malefactors of great wealth on wall street has certainly not a certification -- sterling chapter. that is yet to be written. i charged mr. cordray and mary responsibility of writing that. >> thanks. you get the last word. vo:geico, committed to providing service to
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